First Geothermal Plant For Tanzania

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Tanzania is planning to have 100 MW of geothermal power operating by 2016. Geothermal tends to be more stable, so developing it there can counteract the erratic output from hydroelectric dams.

Mbeya_road.jpgDue to a lack of rain, there have been power shortages in the country, so seeking a more balance energy mix is very sensible. Additionally, national power demand is expected to increase.

The country has an estimated 650 MW of geothermal potential and will begin drilling in the southern region near Mbeya. In May of this year, a 1.6 MW geothermal power plant project was reported as part of a rural electrification effort in the area. A geothermal reservoir at the Ngozi volcano nearby could have a 100 MW potential. Mbeya is a city with a population of about 280,000 and the name of the surrounding region, which includes two million residents.

Geothermal energy typically is not intermittent like solar and wind power. And, in Tanzania, having new reliable sources of energy could be a great boon to economic development and poverty alleviation. This domestic energy potential is true for other ‘third-world’ nations as well, such as Kenya, where geothermal is also being developed to a great degree.

Image Credit: Fiver Löcker, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

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